Continuing the story of my first trip, I found myself in San Francisco. It was about 3 quarters through the Contiki tour. We had two nights there and by this time I was well and truly in my comfort zone.
There was an older lady on our trip. She was about 40, but she looked about 30.
Because of the constant partying, a lot of the people on the tour were in the mood for a night off. We had eaten at Chinatown the night before and we went to a nightclub where some of the people under 21 were able to get in using a library card.
I was a shy guy. I was 21, no girlfriend and I started to make some friends, including my room-mate and his lady friend.
This particular night, I felt like going out and exploring. I knew this 40 looking 30 gal wanted to go out, so I put my best clothes on, got a crisp $100 dollar Travellers cheque and went to her room. I knocked on the door and asked if she wanted to go out tonight for dinner or drinks. She agreed.
I thought I was a movie star, bright blonde hair (eminem style) brought to you by the cousin hairdresser that said it was cool at the time and the city by the bay. Just like the movies I flagged a cab down, and he took us to I believe the Haight-Ashbury area. I don’t recall dinner, I recall entering some type of blues/jazz club and sitting down at the bar. We had a few drinks and I then I asked the most awkward thing, “Would you like to Dance?” .
Don’t calibrate and listen, Ice is definitely not back with a brand new invention.
No one was dancing, why would I ask? I guess I felt the beat, the rhythm. To blues? yeah, so I like the guitar.
I don’t recall how we got to the next place, my false memory is kicking in now. I know it was the same night though.
I was a smoker back then, and I needed some Marlboro’s from a Walgreen’s. I was pretty drunk by now and walking the streets looking for one.
All of a sudden I saw a couple walk past, they were locals of the area. With my confident booze breathe I asked, “Excuse me Sir, would you know where a Walgreen store is?” The young lady, her name could have been Queen Latifah, I’m not sure, said “Yeah we will drive you to one, I could go a smoke!” So I told them if they did, I would give her a few cigarettes.
We jumped in the car and this story could have went two ways. The low road and I wouldn’t be writing this story or the high road and that, is where we are now.
It was the first time I had sat in a left-handed vehicle other than a Contiki bus, so that in itself was an interesting experience.
After getting my cigarettes, they asked where we were from, me Australia and my ‘date’ Ireland I believe. They then drove us around San Fran, showing us the sites. We eventually ended up at Coit tower. There were a lot of cars up there and we chatted and socialized with people, can’t remember what I said and or what they did, but it felt safe and friendly.
It was time to head off, the couple asked if we would like to head back to their house to smoke some weed. In another lifetime I would have, but we had to get up the next morning to get on the Contiki bus and I had no idea how far they lived from the city.
They dropped us off at the hotel, and we said goodbye.
I think, I might have a photo or their details, somewhere in my old holiday stuff, I believe she was a beauty therapist from memory.
I walked my date to her room like a good boy. I said goodnight and returned to me room.
For someone who was shy, I thought this night was a success. I was 21 and had taken an older lady out and showed her a good time, like a true gentleman.
I also lived to tell the story. The TV and movies depict America as a very dangerous place, although when you come across the average American, they are polite, friendly and just want to have a good time like everyone else. I probably won’t jump into an unknown car again either here in Australia or any other country for that matter, but sometimes, you just got to say what the hell and go for it.